ULSTER CUP CRICKET: Brigade come up trumps after Stormont thriller

Brigade held their nerve to beat Civil Service North at Stormont last night to ensure there are two NCU and North West clubs in the last four of the O’Neill’s Ulster Cup.

Waringstown, North Down and Ardmore are the other semi-finalists after a rain-affected quarter-final day.

Brigade won a tense game by 12 runs as they successfully defended a total of 155 for seven in a tie reduced to 20 overs per side because of rain.

David Murdock top scored with 34 while Jason van der Merwe claimed 3-18 for the home side. Mansoor Amjad and Shane Getkate each hit 35 for CSNI but tight spells from Andy Britton and Ifty Hussain were crucial to the final outcome.

In the only other tie decided without a bowl-out, Pieter Malan struck an unbeaten 83 from only 62 balls as North Down beat Bready with a ball to spare at The Green.

Malan struck five fours and two sixes as the holders overcame losing two wickets in a nervy final over. The home side were cruising as Malan and Peter Eakin added 110 for the third wicket but Conor Olphert bowled Eakin for 46. Ross Ewing and Jacob Mulder were both dismissed in that last over but Malan struck the penultimate ball to the boundary from Andrew Lucas.

Earlier Kyle Hamilton had impressed with an unbeaten 81 for the visitors from just 46 balls. He struck 10 fours and two sixes.

It was disaster for CI a day after their Premier League hopes were effectively ended by North Down.

The Belmont club, who would have been favourites against Ardmore had the game gone ahead, went out 2-1 in a bowl-out.

Chris Dougherty, the regular wicketkeeper, hit for CI but they lost as both Gary Neely and professional Marlo Jardine struck the stumps to book the Bleachgreen club’s place in the last four.

Strabane and Waringstown took part in a remote bowl-out at Strabane Park and The Lawn. The North West Club appeared to be on course for the last four as Tommy Barr, Ryan Gallagher and Aaron Gillespie hit with their first three attempts.

Adam Dennison missed with Waringstown’s first attempt but the villagers forced sudden death as professional Cobus Pienaar, Gary Kidd and James Hall all hit.

Both teams missed again in sudden death but Pienaar decided the tie by hitting the base of middle stump for the second time.

The North West’s Faughan Valley Cup quarter-final draw was held yesterday.

The ties are as follows: Bready v Coleraine, Donemana v Eglinton, Brigade v Newbuildings, Ardmore v Fox Lodge.